Humans have an innate capacity to put themselves in another person's shoes and feel their pain or share in their pleasure, but new research shows the boundaries of our compassion extend well beyond our own species and even include non-living creatures such as robots. In two recent studies, researchers tested the physiological responses that occur when humans are confronted with images of robots being abused and treated affectionately and found they are similar to those that occur when the scenarios involve real people.

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